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BeanosOnToast52 posts since 17 Feb 2016
Granada North West Today
So, I've been re-watching continuity from the 1983-87 era of CITV, which was notorious for having pre-recorded announcements filmed in London, (from Thames?), despite the fact Central was in charge of the transmission.

One thing I've been curious about is how the links to Central's own programmes varied, take, for example, this link with Bonnie Langford into the original broadcast of the Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends stories, Thomas & the Guard and Thomas Goes Fishing, where the announcement has her staring into a corner of the studio for a solid three seconds!


However, I've watched the links to the first six stories, (introduced as double features), with, coincidentally, Sergeant Major Zero from Gerry Anderson's latest production at the time, Terrahawks, (Thomas director David Mitton worked in the special FX department for Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons), and the links there here are very seamless:


So, is it safe to say the links to Central's own programmes were as inconsistent in transitioning to the shows produced by the other ITV franchises at the time, especially as they all came from separate transmitters?
Last edited by BeanosOnToast on 10 September 2019 9:51pm - 5 times in total
buster1,768 posts since 15 Mar 2006
London London
I’d forgotten about those little intervals in the middle of the Thomas double bills. No wonder that theme tune was so well remembered, you heard it 4 times in ten minutes!
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BeanosOnToast52 posts since 17 Feb 2016
Granada North West Today
I’d forgotten about those little intervals in the middle of the Thomas double bills. No wonder that theme tune was so well remembered, you heard it 4 times in ten minutes!

I wonder if Britt Allcroft and David Mitton suggested the idea for the first Terrahawks announcement to Central, as they were the ITV franchise attached to the first two series.

Note at the end, Captain Major Zero says: "Take it away, boys..." which seems to be a clear reference to Mike O' Donnell and Junior Campbell, the series' composers, it seems like everyone knew just how successful the series would be.
Amber Avenger72 posts since 15 Jun 2017
Granada North West Today
I’d forgotten about those little intervals in the middle of the Thomas double bills. No wonder that theme tune was so well remembered, you heard it 4 times in ten minutes!


Not only on the broadcasts, but I had a couple of official VHS releases that kept the "intervals" in as well. I always really liked them, although yes it is a bit odd now you think about it
Steve in Pudsey10,167 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Were the CITV links filmed at the Molinaire facilities house in this era? The looking into space thing was common to all links in case the incoming programme was delayed, as an alternative to doing the frightened rabbit look down the barrel.
Write that down in your copybook now.
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Si-Co2,155 posts since 2 Oct 2003
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
Regarding the “dead air” before the show starts (when Bonnie is staring at her “tv”), it didn’t make much difference whether the programme about to start was from Central or another company. If the timing was lousy, there would be an awkward gap. Central were basically playing a VT of the pre-recorded announcement and then mixing to the programme which was either on another VT or coming in as an outside source. Because the continuity wasn’t live, there was no way for the presenter to fill that gap. A live announcer would see (and/or hear) the countdown to the next event and adjust the delivery of his/her link accordingly.

It was worse when the programme failed to run for any reason. The presenter could be left staring gormlessly at the camera or the “imaginary telly” for 30 seconds or so before Central or the local station put up an apology caption. This was possibly one of the reasons they went live in the end - so it felt more real. In the later non-live years the links ended with an animation on screen, which could be sat on for a few seconds if necessary and disguised the hiccup to some extent.
Cut out the coupon in your TV Times!
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